Yoga Breaths for Life… Out with the bad… In with the good

While I was jogging tonight, I was reflecting, as usual, it begins with today, and inevitably I am taken to a deeper place, my healing place. It’s the only time my thoughts are rarely interrupted. A quote I read has stuck with me for weeks now, “When you say yes to someone, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself.” Those were the words I needed to unleash the bitterness and resentments I was holding. I have said NO to myself over and over for so long, that once I started to say YES, I felt… guilty.

Years ago I was stoned in a bathroom with my friend, and I was peeing on a stick. This situation was absolutely hysterical to us, and looking back, maybe I needed some emotional lubrication for this life changing moment. Somewhere, in a sober part of my mind I knew that if this little digital fortune teller said, “Pregnant”, I was going to be a mother. The weird part is that I REALLY wanted it to say “Not Pregnant”. Like REALLY. I did not want a baby, I did not want to be responsible for someone else… I did not want to be responsible for myself. Why then did I know I was going to have this baby? Not because I’m pro-life, I’m not, I’m die hard pro-choice. I had only been with my boyfriend at the time for a few months. He was the nicest of all of my past relationships. Having jumped unceremoniously from an abusive relationship to this “safe” relationship, I was… unprepared, to say the least. When I started dating him, EVERYONE approved. This was the first time in my life that my family was supportive of a relationship I was in. My friends gushed about how great he was. I don’t know how I felt, looking back. I think I held on to all of the positive things I knew, and what my friends and family said, and I thought that I could make this work. I could be with the nice guy, and although I have intimacy issues, maybe those will fade in time, and I will grow to fall in love. On paper we were great, our signs matched! (Until years later we actually did our charts and learned that on the surface, yes, it looked pretty, but ultimately we were not compatible.) All of a sudden, I have missed my period, I’m throwing up, and I know, if I don’t have this baby I will ruin any chance I had with him. He would resent me because he always wanted a family, I had seen it before. When the stick announced that I was in fact pregnant, I laughed. My friend thought that meant it was negative…

That was one of the biggest times I said yes to someone else, and said no to myself. I paid for it, dearly. I spent the next 9 months throwing up, fighting- and losing a battle with depression, I got horrible acne, I gained 65 pounds, I lost friends, and my little spark of a “Perfect on Paper” relationship crumbled. I rationalized it. I deserved all of this for not wanting this baby. If I stuck it out long enough, eventually the relationship would work. I had to be a good mom, somehow, I swore to her that no matter what, I would never leave her, I would grow to love her, too. I committed to give this little girl all of the things my mother was unable to give me. But I wasn’t happy about it. By saying yes to having this baby, I was stuck for the next 18+ years. (I did fall in love with Baby Jo. It was a relief.)

I continued with this pattern of thinking, and became very bitter. Bitter with my ex, bitter with the “church” that instilled this sick ideology in my head, bitter with my family for encouraging this ridiculousness, bitter with my friends for not understanding, bitter with my mother for not being there when I was little, bitter with myself for not sticking up for myself, for holding back the truth for years, and for this deep dark anger that I had never seen before. I started push positive people out of my life, and fed off of the negativity of other people. People who don’t trust anyone, who keep their hearts closed off, lonely people. They were my validation.

Recently I went through a period were I lashed out at people. People I love so much. I was so full of bitterness, I just exploded. A lot of what was said was true, some of it was just my insecurities and fear. I saw this change, I saw this growth in me, and I was not ready to let it take root. So I punished everyone around me, instead of taking responsibility and growing up. I was so afraid to lose people, that I let go of them instead.

Slowly my heart softened. My fiance, Mr. Positive turned my world upside down. He dissolved my intimacy insecurities, and showed me how happy I could be. How happy our life could be, crazy and hectic as it is, he showed me what is really important. For a while I stayed in the shallow end of positive thinking. I did not want to jinx it, and I was holding on to my old life, where I had time to spend with my friends, I had time to chat on the phone, I could have some resemblance of a social life. Now, in reality, unless you want to have a play date, we are probably not hanging out. As for phone calls, I have no idea when I will have a chance to answer, let alone talk. I’m OK with this. As new and life changing suddenly parenting 2 more kids is, and having a consistent schedule, and virtually no free time, I love it! It has helped me weed out the negativity. It has helped me focus on what is important. My family is important. I’m sorry to all of my friends that I have not communicated with, if it were not or Facebook and being able to “like” a few statuses, I don’t know that I would do! So, yes I feel a loss, but I have used all of that sadness and turned it into positive energy. I am taking care of me, I am taking care of my kiddos, I am happy in my relationship, and I am building a business! I am healthier than i have ever been, and working daily to ¬†become healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. I have a long way to go, it’s OK, though, I love having a goal! I feel really good about these changes, and it doesn’t really matter to me anymore if all my family and friends approve. If they love me, they will stick around, if not, I have my amazing supportive fiance, and my awesome kids. So… deep breath in with the good (1…2…3…4…5…) and out with the bad(1…2…3…4…5…).

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If I knew then what I know now

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It’s time to give the daddy’s a break. I know, I know, that doesn’t sound like me. A lot of you are aware that I have some bitterness with fathers. And to clear the air, I do not have “Daddy Issues”, well I do but they have nothing to do with MY dad. My dad has always been an amazing example. He is 27 years sober, and he is saving the world one addict at a time. He was a single dad until I was 7 years old, and he worked his ass off. While I do not agree with many of his parenting decisions, I know from the bottom of my heart that he ALWAYS did what his heart told him was right.

That being said, yes I have issues. I actually have a lot of issues that we may or may not get into, but for now I want to make some things right within myself, by letting it out… in a healthy way, so no I’m not going to vent. Over the years I have vented on this subject many times, now it’s time to make peace.

When you become a mother, something within you changes. For me it was massive. My life became about my baby girl. Breastfeeding was the best gift to Jo and to myself. At the time I did not realize that breastfeeding releases this magic hormone, the “Happy Mommy” hormone, Oxytocin, which is also a hormone that is released when you are falling in love, specifically when you are touching. So here we are brand new moms, and we are literally falling in love with our babies. When you fall in love with anyone, they can do no wrong. The world is brighter when they are there, you can handle anything. In fact, you don’t even want to be anywhere unless they are there. It is a form of insanity in my book. Think about it, you have this tiny thing, it cries a lot, which is obnoxious, it is not potty trained, and every time you change it’s diaper you can almost see dollar bills going down the diaper genie. It doesn’t even DO anything. And it is ALWAYS hungry! Yet, here we are, mothers and we can’t take our eyes off of it. We can’t put it down. we suffer through ridiculous pain (if you breastfed) and tears teaching it to latch and toughening our nipples… I for one never imagined I would have to toughen my nipples. I also had absolutely no clue how painful it is! We get up 9 times a night just to check on it, and another 6 times to feed it and change it, or we co-sleep and it’s just not comfortable, you wake up every time it needs to latch, and your paranoid you or dad is gonna roll on it. It’s pretty insane to fall in love with someone who puts you through all of that.

Now imagine being a new father. He did not get magic hormones, and he is watching you fall in love with someone else! This new thing that appeared out of nowhere! He has to deal with your consistent annoyance that he did not change the diaper, or did it wrong. He has to do all of the shopping and probably cooking because you’re so busy taking videos of a 3 day old… You no longer care when he walks through the door because you are so preoccupied by this weird color in the diaper. And all you ever talk about is milestones and how cute it is. INSANITY.

To be clear, I had my moments when I was frustrated. Unfortunately all of my frustration was directed at Baby Daddy. I never stopped to think about how he might be feeling. Maybe it would not have made a difference. I was busy being in love with my perfect beautiful baby girl. My situation is different than yours, (I hope!!!) I was incredibly bitter with my pregnancy (which was terrible) and subconsciously I blamed him. I never wanted a baby, and he did. And there I was totally loving my baby, but hating him for everything I went through.

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So I would like to take this time to say thank you to the daddies out there. It never occurred to me what you all were going through. No dad is perfect. However, some of them are pretty effing awesome! My fiance changed my negative views on dads. Granted, I still get irritated by uninvolved, detached, fathers, but he has shown me that a daddy can love to play with his kids, he can muster up nonexistent energy to get down on the floor and play ninjas or be a dragon for the kids to ride on, or throw them up in the air until his arms are falling off. He can make dinner when I am busy, do the dishes just because they are in the sink, fold the laundry I didn’t finish. I was seriously under the impression that men in general could not do dishes or laundry… or even put the clothes in the hamper for that matter! Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find him. And I understand that the things that are important to me are not important to everyone. I know women who wait to do the dishes until their are no more clean plates! Different strokes, right?

Deciding to have a child comes with risks, the risk, and inevitability that you will change. Will he change with you? If not, I know it’s irritating, but, it’s OK. Some people are not meant to be together, but I am so thankful for my little girl. And… She wouldn’t be here if it was not for Baby Daddy, it took me a long time to understand that he can love her, too. This pricks my pride a little, but I’m going to say it, people can have different opinions, people can love differently, they can even love the same person without loving each other.

Jojo and mama with matching cozy socks
Jojo and mama with matching cozy socks